WGS Featured Artist: Teri Bailey

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Teri Bailey

Teri Bailey

Teri Bailey

Teri Bailey is a multimedia artist holding a BFA in Glass from The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She thrives in learning, pursuing opportunities to expand her understanding of material at institutions such as Penland School of Crafts, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and the Chrysler Museum of Art. Teri currently lives and works in Washington D.C. as the Studio Coordinator for the Washington Glass School and the Director of WGS Contemporary.

Teri Bailey teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Teri Bailey teaching pâte de verre technique at the Washington Glass School.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Teri as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Teri Bailey: The forms for the Sanctuary Series are constructed by precisely layering thin glass strands to imitate weaved textile patterns. The glass strands are lightly melted together and then heated until they slump over a hand-made mold.  Each mold is uniquely carved out of a soft plaster mixture that is removed after firing, creating a negative space within the glass sculpture. I also create a charcoal drawing of my inspiration (a child hiding under a blanket) to help guide the viewer and add visual variety.  

Teri Bailey, "Sanctuary Among Fragility"; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”

Teri Bailey, “Sanctuary Among Fragility”; Kilnworked Glass, Flat Glass; 6”x7”x4”; concept sketch above finished work.

I combined an assortment of processes to create Seeking Home. This piece includes a hand sculpted figure as well as a glass quilt square. I made the square by sifting ground up glass powder (called frit) through a stencil onto a larger sheet of flat glass. I then fired the sheet and fused the pattern onto the surface. 

Teri Bailey, "Seeking Home"; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Teri Bailey, Detail “Seeking Home”; Glass, Poly-Vitro, Wood; 18”x20”x6”

Delicate Revolution is an installation of over 400 eyehooks that have been corseted together with layers of silk ribbon. This installation changes every time it is presented and is dependent on the space around it.

Teri Bailey: Detail "Delicate Revolution"; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2'x8'x1'

Teri Bailey: Detail “Delicate Revolution”; Stainless Steel Eyehooks, Ribbon, Wood; 2′x8′x1′

Defiance (in Artists for Racial Justice Fundraiser) is a deep red glass casting of a human neck with its chin raised. The chin proudly jutting out, even though it is fractured and worn. The mold for the piece was made by painting body safe rubber mold material onto my model’s neck, waiting for it to try, then removing the mold and pouring wax into it to create a reproduction. The wax neck is then covered in plaster-silica to create a kilnproof mold. The wax is melted of out the mold and the negative space that it leaves is filled with cold chunks of glass and heated up in a kiln until they melt.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Teri Bailey: The work in this show highlights many of the different processes and materials that I enjoy working with. All of these works highlight my fascination with textiles and their role in the home. Similar to artists like Mary Cassatt, I am drawn to exploring the beautiful intimacy within the home and the personal.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Teri Bailey: The two biggest things influencing my work (and much of the world) right now are COVID and the BLM Movement. So much of the inspiration for my work comes from the emotion and vulnerability of the extremely personal. I am painfully empathetic, so to watch this many people die so brutally leaves me fluctuating between heartbroken, terrified, and enraged. I don’t think I could keep emotions this intense out of my artwork even if I really tried. It has shown me that I need to take a stance on things I have been privileged enough to avoid in the past and use my voice to spread love and promote change. No pressure…

Here's your coffee - & thank-you for wearing a mask!

Here’s your coffee… & thank-you for wearing a mask!

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Teri Bailey: A psychologist… or a barista.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Teri Bailey: Definitely a little bit of both. I feel like I spend 75% of the time in my sketchbook working through each element of an idea before I begin making, then when I feel comfortable with the plan I begin bringing it to life. I am flexible throughout the process and lots of things change as I lay the materials next to each other and work through the installation… it keeps me on my toes!

Click here to jump to Teri Bailey’s work in CLICK-IT!

Teri’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

WGS Featured Artist: Steve Wanna

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Steve Wanna

steve.wanna.artist.wgs.contemporary

Steve Wanna is a multi-disciplinary sound and visual artist whose work includes music, sound design for dance collaborations, sculpture, installation, photography, and works for mixed media. Born and raised in Lebanon, he immigrated to the United States with his family as a teenager, eventually receiving a doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Maryland in 2004.

Steve’s work is driven by his belief that under the right conditions beauty can emerge without the need for direct intervention. He creates abstract, experimental fixed works and installations in a variety of mediums and formats that include sound, 2-D work, sculpture, video, and photography. His work is informed by the principle of emergence as defined in systems theory and Buddhism. His process often involves an element of controlled randomness, taking great care to prepare the initial conditions for a process whose final results are largely out of his control.

As a composer and sound artist by training, the perception of the passage of time is a strongly recurring theme in Steve’s work.  Whether sonic or visual. he creates fixed works and installations that deal with mainly three different manifestations of this concept: fixed works that represent or capture a single moment in time, fixed works that are the result of a long process, and works that are themselves processes in perpetual unfolding.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Steve as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Steve Wanna: As an experimental artist, I don’t have one set process in place. My work and process depend on the idea underlying a project and the materials in use. My inspirations vary from the literary to the scientific. I often have to invent new techniques for using materials in unconventional ways to realize my ideas, and I like the work to embody that process. My approach can be described as contained chaos, and most of my work hovers at the boundary between control and disorder: I carefully create containers or frameworks in which I then allow some process to unfold, almost completely unhindered. There’s an element of controlled randomness that allows processes and materials to come together to directly shape the final work, without constant intervention from me.

Steve Wanna, "Myth of Creation - CE181231.1036", Acrylic, powder pigment, resin, plaster, mixed media; 12" x 6" x 1.5"

Steve Wanna, “Myth of Creation – CE181231.1036″, Acrylic, powder pigment, resin, plaster, mixed media; 12″ x 6″ x 1.5″

I can describe the process of one of the works currently on offer. It comes from an ongoing series called Myths of Creation. Each work in the series is a record of a unique event, an instant of time, forever frozen. The idea was inspired by images from NASA’s Hubble Telescope of cosmic events like supernovae: what we see are records of ancient events that occurred eons ago but still have impact and immediacy. I wanted to capture that feeling. Each work is made by exploding various materials onto a prepared board. The resulting explosion becomes the work—each piece is a record of the very instant of its creation. The titles, which bear the date and time of the event, reflect this. The works are fixed finally in clear cast resin, which adds a depth and enhances the sense of these works as frozen moments of time, records of specific, cataclysmic events.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Steve Wanna: I have four works in this show that come from three different series, including, Myths of Creation, which I describe above. One thing that is difficult to convey in photographs is the depth and impact these pieces have. There’s a three-dimensional, sculptural quality that isn’t immediately obvious—the materials aren’t flat on the board but have texture and depth, and the cast resin enhances that. It’s also important to understand that when I create these works, I experience them as a viewer: each time I make a drop I don’t know what the result will be exactly and the work is being created anew for me. I find this an incredibly exciting and addictive feeling. 

Steve Wanna "...she who makes the moon the moon" - Scape #4", synthetic wax blend, paint, LED light, mixed media;6.25" x 6.25" x 3"

Steve Wanna “…she who makes the moon the moon” – Scape #4″, synthetic wax blend, paint, LED light, mixed media;6.25″ x 6.25″ x 3″

 

WGS: How have you handled the COVID-19 lockdown? How have you adapted?

Steve Wanna: I ended up catching the virus very early on, around mid-March, when very little was known. I struggled to get information and a test, but was lucky in that I didn’t require hospitalization. I had a range of symptoms that all cleared up eventually, except for two that lingered—some persistent weakness in smell and taste.

Like many artists, I wasn’t able to do much creatively. Free time isn’t helpful when it’s filled with anxiety and uncertainty on a global, national, and personal level. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things soon, even though we still don’t have a clear path forward with this pandemic. But I do feel a sense of urgency to move one with life and try to figure out what things might look like in the future.

 steve.wanna.mix

WGS: If you were not an artist – what would you be?

Steve Wanna: I’m a composer by training and only recently went into visual art full time. I almost went into architecture, which I suppose is close to art. I also have a fascination with material sciences, physics, and philosophy. I still fantasize about being in a filed that somehow combines all those. Art comes pretty close. If I weren’t an artist I would still have to be involved in some creative activity. I don’t think I would know how to exist without that. I cook a lot and I relate to cooking in very much the same way: I like to experiment and see what happens. I think I’m addicted to discovering new things through play and experimentation and to making stuff.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Steve Wanna: Both. All my work has an element of chance or controlled randomness, but I’m also a very careful and meticulous planner. My personality is not impulsive and I’m even a bit of a control freak and that spills into my art practice. I use randomness as an antidote to being overbearing when it comes to making art—it helps get me out of the way of the work.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Steve Wanna: Most of my work relies on a process that I carefully put in place specifically to get me out of the way of having to make decisions like that. It’s a different way of thinking but I’ve found it to be more relaxed and open. It creates enough space to allow me and the work to coexist happily. The work is usually finished when the process is complete. I may have to make additional adjustments or modifications, but I try to stay true to the work and not insert unnecessary distractions into the work or my thinking.

Click here to jump to Steve Wanna’s artwork in CLICK-IT!

WGS Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar‘s glass sculptures inspires and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been her primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but artworks are always about celebrating life. Carmen lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Although she travels abroad to teach and share her love for glass – most recently to Turkey, Italy, and New Zealand – she always returns to her Midwestern roots. 

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Carmen as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” 

Carmen Lozar

Carmen Lozar

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Carmen Lozar: I work with rods and tubes of borosilicate glass at a torch.  Flameworking lends itself to small intimate pieces, the type I most enjoy making. The process requires concentration, years of skill building and many, many generous mentors who are willing to share their knowledge. 

Caremen Lozar, "Bubble Gum", 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3"x 2"x 6"

Caremen Lozar, “Bubble Gum”, 2019, Flameworked glass, found object, 3″x 2″x 6″

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Carmen Lozar: The work is the show is meant to be intimate and accessible, highlighting human follies in a lighthearted way. The bubble gum pieces are about the sticky messes we continually put ourselves in but also the ridiculous and stretchy nature of glass as a material. To me, much of the work is both funny and sad. 

The ketchup and mustard piece, Fight, is about the continual small spats that my daughters engage in daily. I know that they love each other and work well together but this does not stop them from ongoing sibling rivalry. This piece makes light of their arguments knowing they will pass and, in a way, preserving my sanity.

Carmen Lozar, "Fight", Flameworked glass and found object. 3"H x 8"L x 2"D

Carmen Lozar, “Fight”, Flameworked glass and found object. 3″H x 8″L x 2″D

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Carmen Lozar: I have been oscillating between enjoying a quiet summer and completely freaking out. There is so much to process and digest that I am sure the landscape of what we make will change as a result. I believe an entirely new aesthetic will result as a product of the pandemic and unrest.

Image from Carmen Lozar's sketchbook.

Image from Carmen Lozar’s sketchbook.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Carmen Lozar:  I do a lot of planning before I begin a new artwork, usually beginning with several drawings in my sketchbook. I usually stick to the drawing/idea pretty closely although if there are too many repetitive parts in the piece I will simplify. I have a short attention span and making the same objects over and over, while I love the way it looks, is difficult for me.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Carmen Lozar: An allergist.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Carmen Lozar: You get a crazy wonderful rush of adrenaline that you cannot find anywhere else!

Click here to jump to Carmen Lozar’s work in CLICK-IT!
Click HERE to jump to the show.

WGS Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Erwin Timmers

Erwin Timmers is the co-founder of the Washington Glass Studio and Washington Glass School. Originally from Amsterdam, he moved to California and graduated from Santa Monica College for Design Arts and Architecture. In 1999 he moved to the Washington DC area and since then his sculptural artwork has been on display in Zenith Gallery, Fraser Gallery, and Gallery Neptune. Erwin was named the Montgomery County, MD Executive’s Award Outstanding Artist of the Year in 2018.

His approach to art is multifaceted, incorporating metalwork, innovative lighting and glass design. He teaches glass, lighting, sculpture, and metal work. Industrial salvage and recycling are recurring themes in his work, which he sees as crucial parts to the interaction with one’s surroundings. Recently, the Artisan 4100 - an apartment community opening along Route 1 in Brentwood, MD – commissioned Erwin Timmers to create a major glass and light installation for the new building lobby.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Artist Erwin Timmers installs Artisan 4100 Building artwork commission.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Erwin as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.
Erwin Timmers: I cast objects in recycled glass. For this series I have used discarded packaging material, from which I take molds in plaster. The glass then heats up in an electric kiln, melts and takes on the shape of this mold. To finish I chop, and trim the glass and weld the metal frame.

Erwin Timmers, "Patterns of Containment V" cast recycled glass

Erwin Timmers, “Patterns of Containment V” cast recycled glass

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Erwin Timmers: The work features single-use plastic wrappings that viewers may recognize. The grid format formalizes the display of “trash” as art and then I use grids within each frame as well. I hope to give viewers a moment of pause while contemplating the shapes and patterns.

Erwin Timmer: detail "Patterns of Containment"

Erwin Timmer: detail “Patterns of Containment”

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Erwin Timmers: Initially COVID was like snow days we hadn’t had, but with great weather. That was before any financial pressure came into play. It was motivating to see the air pollution worldwide go down, I wish it could stay like that. But at the same time the single use plastic pollution is increasing, giving me even more art base materials…

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?
Erwin Timmers: The current civil crisis has been deeply moving. It caused me to rethink and redevelop the direction of my hands symbol series.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?
Erwin Timmers: Epidemiologist 

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio.

Erwin Timmers suits up in his PPE gear to work in the studio. Or tend the studio bee-hives.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?
Erwin Timmers: I plan the general idea, but often new ideas and aspects emerge as I work. I try to incorporate these, and I can then evaluate whether they work or not.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?
Erwin Timmers: When I sign it, it is done…

Click here to jump to Erwin Timmers work in CLICK-IT!
Erwin’s work is part of the companion exhibit/fundraiser – “Artists for Racial Justice” Click HERE to jump to the show.

WGS Featured Artist: Cheryl Derricotte

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Cheryl Derricotte

Cheryl  Derricotte is a visual artist and her favorite mediums are glass and paper. Originally from Washington, DC, she lives and makes art in San Francisco, CA.

Cheryl Derricotte

Cheryl Derricotte

She has an extensive background in the arts and community development. Cheryl holds the Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. in Urban Affairs from Barnard College, Columbia University. 

Recent awards include the Windgate Artist Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center (2020/2021); Antenna Paper Machine Residency; San Francisco Individual Artist Commission, and the Puffin Foundation Grant, (all 2019/2020). She is also the recipient of the Hemera Foundation Tending Space Fellowship for Artists; the Rick and Val Beck Scholarship for Glass; Emerging Artist at the Museum of the African Diaspora; Gardarev Center Fellow; Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass’ Visionary Scholarship and a D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities/ National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowship Grant.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Cheryl as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Cheryl Derricotte: I make art from research. This type of inquiry also leads me not just to economic but also environmental concerns. Observations of current events, politics, and urban landscapes are my entry into these issues. Cheryl_Derricotte_Working.In.The.glass.Studio.art.sculpture.american.clickit.wgs_contemporary

To make my work I use a variety of glass and printmaking techniques. My cold glasswork (unfired) often takes form as sculptural mixed media, involving books and found objects. Warm glass means work fired in a kiln up to approximately 1,500°F. I enjoy layering images and text onto warm glass pieces, featuring public domain historical photographs, drawings, or my own photographs. My preferred techniques include screen-printing with glass enamels or powder printing. My work on paper employs the techniques of image transfers, ink stamping and collage. Over the past few years, I have been enjoying learning the craft of bookbinding. I recently exhibited my first artist book, entitled “Emily” about a runaway slave’s journey along the Ohio River.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Cheryl Derricotte:  Most often I create work in series. “Oil and Water,” looks at communities that live in the shadow of oil: California places like Richmond, Los Angeles and Manhattan Beach. The two pieces in the show use historical images from Los Angeles.

Cheryl Derricotte, "Red Alert"; glass

Cheryl Derricotte, “Red Alert”; glass

 

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Cheryl Derricotte: I do a lot of planning! Text is an important component of my artwork. I often say that I live under the tyranny of title. A phrase will get stuck in my head, such as “21st Century Capital” and I wrestle with it until an artwork is created. Thus, many of my pieces have titles before I ever make a schematic drawing, much less cut a piece of glass.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Cheryl Derricotte: The lockdown has been tough. My studio building – where I do my glasswork & house my kiln – closed in the first week of March. In order to stay in touch with my creativity during the lockdown, I took short online classes in printmaking & bookarts; I developed a sketching practice.

My studio building recently became accessible again under San Francisco’s phased re-opening of businesses, and I am excited to get back to glass in July. I have been invited to participate in an upcoming show at the French Embassy in San Francisco, and I am going to make some new works appropriate to the show’s theme.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Cheryl Derricotte: The returned societal focus on police brutality, has made one of my series on paper more relevant than ever before. “The Blue Wall Project” maps people killed by the police using data from the Guardian UK’s “The Counted” and the Washington Post’s “Fatal Force.” Thanks to funding from the Puffin Foundation, I am moving this work online so activists can use my visuals for posters and postcards in support of efforts to #DefundThePolice and re-invest that money in more meaningful community programs, including the arts.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Cheryl Derricotte: That’s easy! I already have a dual identity. I am also a licensed city planner. I have worked “day jobs” in real estate development and facilities management for many years in both non-profits and corporate/tech spaces. I make art and creative places. I have never met a warehouse space I didn’t like.

Click HERE to jump to Cheryl Derricotte’s work in CLICK-IT!

WGS Featured Artist: Sean Donlon

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Sean Donlon

Sean Donlon has been drawn to the challenges of glass manipulation. Sean earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012. He has traveled all over the United States and internationally to Lauscha, Germany and Murano, Italy to study lost glass techniques and to work with other glass artists. Among his distinguished honors, Sean has been the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship, was awarded Craft + Design’s Best in Show, and was recently featured in American Craft Magazine. Sean’s work has been exhibited in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and the Chrysler Museum. He is currently living and working in Richmond, VA.

Sean Donlon

Sean Donlon

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Sean as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Sean Donlon: I use flameworking, a glassblowing technique, to create these teapots. Within the manipulation of glass and fire a unique vessel is born.

Sean Donlon, "Tantric Tea Time"; glass / mixed media

Sean Donlon, “Tantric Tea Time“; glass / mixed media

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Sean Donlon: We are surrounded daily by functional objects; beauty everywhere is easily overlooked when it is hidden in plain view. Becoming obsessed with this practical object turned into an opportunity to make sense of the world.

The teapot became a symbol in my eyes, one that could be recognized by all people. Throughout history teapots have been used as a canvas for expression through its maker or utilizer. This makes the teapot a greater symbol – one that can connect everyone on the principle of taking a moment to wind down, interact, tell stories, or internally reflect.

This inanimate object becomes vibrant and alive when juxtaposed in a foreign environment; every teapot manifests its own personality in these installations. Reflecting light off of each other and playing with their environment, these teapots, in every viewing angle become their own story. 

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Sean Donlon: It has been difficult, and a storm of emotions. I have family who is going through treatment for a terminal cancer and covid isn’t making that experience any easier.

I run a shared studio space with other artists, and it has been a big change. In the pace of the workplace, and to make sure everyone is on the same page in our adapting to this pandemic.  Safety has always been our top priority, I was very excited to see how everyone came together to make things operate smoothly.  It hasn’t been easy, but I have realized so many small things I love about life. Between the sound of water pouring on coffee beans for cold brew, and how light can change so much in a few seconds throughout the day.  Its made me so grateful to be able to reconnect with the world around me again.

I was thinking there would be a large flow of creative energy, but it has actually been hit and miss.  Its made my work slow down but in a great way.  New work from this is in the works and I am excited to share it when its ready… but its kind of hush hush till then.   

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Sean Donlon: I discovered glass when I was working as a tire installer.  I had a car dropped when I was working on it and almost lost my hands and it was that day, I decided to switch to glass full time… I wanted to keep using my hands to create art and have not looked back since that decision.

Sean Donlon's surreal teapots.

Sean Donlon’s surreal teapots.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Sean Donlon: Much of the planning starts with the concept and design.  Then trying to figure out what tools to make is important to each piece.  Everything gets a custom-made component to make the mounting and shaping seamless.  Then the raw fun starts.  When doing the hot glass part, it is planned – but then I do allow room to have the natural avenue of chance and error to come into play!

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Sean Donlon: (When the hot glue is dry… JK). I wish this was an easy answer but its not.  I often know when I am working the glass on the torch when its done.  There will be this moment where it just speaks to me in a way that i see if i change anything else it’ll be too much or throw off the balance of the piece.  Once this is done I still have to install and mirror the work so its still a long process after the glass is made.

My rule of thumb is when the work has the right gesture, narrative, flow, and I am happy with it.  I won’t let something out that I am not please with, and it takes failed works to make the great ones.

 

Click here to jump to Sean Donlon’s work in CLICK-IT!

 

WGS Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

Jason Chakravarty is a mixed media artist based in Arizona. He worked for four years in a commercial neon sign shop before earning his MFA from California State University-Fullerton. He teaches neon and kiln casting workshops at universities and glass centers nationwide, and exhibits his work nationally.

Jason Chakravarty, together with Jennifer Caldwell have made many collaborative pieces, maintaining a critical, conceptual, and technical dialogue thru their work. Jennifer best known for her flame worked glass compositions and Jason’s technical focus is cast glass objects which often include parts or techniques from the hot shop. He uses familiar photorealistic imagery that ranges from sea to space. The narrative is the starting point and is a response to daily life and cultural observations.

Their work has been exhibited in museums including Corning Museum of Glass and Tacoma Museum of Glass, at SOFA Chicago.

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Jason as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” and the associated show “Artists for Racial Justice

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Jason Chakravarty: Our process begins with a need to illuminate an idea. Ideas come from our surroundings, travels (or lack of in 2020), experiences, written stories, or even just captured moments. Glass presents the only medium with endless possibilities. We cast, blow, sculpt, paint, slump, fuse, carve, light it up and cut it. Glass can be made thick, thin, transparent, and opaque. To explain a single process would ignore the way we work. 

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Bee-nounced"; cast murrini with flameworked components.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Bee-nounced”; cast murrini with flameworked components.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Jason Chakravarty: For Click It, we were lucky to include works that span over the past decade. The most recent being ‘Beenounced‘. This piece highlights the delicacy of Jennifer’s flame worked bee and honey living amongst a random and repeating hexagon honeycomb pattern. Each leg and wing is sculpted by hand, while a more machine-like process for the hexagon can be compared to a sushi roll. Long pulls of clear glass coated with yellow or black cut up, organized on end and cast to make a larger hexagon home.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Woken Inna Space Without Sound"; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Woken Inna Space Without Sound”; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

On the other end of the timeline spectrum, ‘Woken Inna Space Without Sound‘ was entirely made using the hot shop. A small paperweight was created and cooled, butterfly and bee decals were applied to the surface. The paperweight was then heated, more clear glass was added and the glass cooled again. Add additional decals and repeat. Each layer requires a couple days. Once all the layers were built the glass was reheated again, shaped and sculpted into a half moon with craters. Layers of transparent and opaque gray, white and opal color were added to the surface and then cooled. The butterfly net was hand blown separately.

Discussing one last piece. “Catch and Release. The lock is cast glass and was purchased in Tel Aviv on a trip to teach in Jerusalem. At the time it felt like an ancient relic that we had found in an old mud hut and bought from a man that was nearing the end of a long and nonmonetary rich life. The fence referenced a fence that ran along the walkway to a bridge in Seattle that we would use when boarding/unboarding the ferry. The fence itself is created by hand using a torch and then assembled cold and held tight in a frame like a puzzle.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Jason Chakravarty: It feels like we are working on the same path as a year ago. The demand for our work has shifted but not slowed down. While we are busy, the silver lining has been that all the anxiety has subsided. Deadlines are on ‘island time’ more like a suggestion vs an absolute. While too much to list has changed we are still consistently working. Every day is still a great day to add something better to the world.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; "Weeding Out"; cast/fused glass, steel.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; “Weeding Out”; cast/fused glass, steel.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Jason Chakravarty: Typically travel and life experience write the story for our work and fill our sketch books. It feels like we are now able to resolve some of the ideas that have been sitting or on hold. So I would say the ‘lack of event’ has us thinking more about how we work and the actual work and less focused on the excitement that comes with new ideas.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Jason Chakravarty: Fred Flintstone.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty. Yabba.Dabba.Do.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Jason Chakravarty: We start with a plan and embrace all the changes along the way. Our work is very process orientated. Many steps using many techniques. Each would have to be perfect to reach our original plan. Nothing is ever perfect. Even our view of the narrative shifts with time, day, and week.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Jason Chakravarty: Each piece we make starts with a narrative. Our goal within a narrative is to raise questions vs provide answers. A piece is resolved when the question is asked.

Click HERE to jump to Jason Charavarty and Jennifer Caldwell’s work in CLICK-IT!

And see their work as part of “Artists For Racial Justice” – click HERE.

Read about Jennifer Caldwell – the other half of JC2   -click HERE.

WGS Featured Artist : F Lennox Campello

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: F. Lennox Campello

F. Lennox (Lenny) Campello

F. Lennox (Lenny) Campello

Florencio Lennox (Lenny) Campello was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and studied art at the University of Washington School of Art in Seattle, Washington from which he graduated in 1981. While there Lenny helped to create the Arts NW Student Gallery in Seattle, the area’s first art gallery focused on student artwork. He also organized several exhibitions at the School of Art.

In that same year that he graduated from Washington, he won the William Whipple National Art Competition First Prize for Printmaking, the silver medal at the Ligoa Duncan Art Competition in Paris and the French “Prix de Peinture de Raymond Duncan,” also in Paris. In addition to numerous galleries, his work has been exhibited at the McManus Museum in Scotland, the Brusque Museum in Brazil, the San Bernardino County Art Museum in California, the Musee des Duncan in France, the Frick Museum in Ohio, the Meadows Museum of Art in Shreveport, Louisiana, the Hunter Museum in Tennessee, the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in California, The Art League in Alexandria, The Museum of Contemporary Art in DC, the Rock Springs Art Center in Wyoming and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado, the Popov Museum in Russia and the Museum of Small Art in Malaysia. In 2009, world famous American art collector Mera Rubell selected one of his pieces for her 2010 “Cream” auction at the Katzen Museum in Washington, DC. In 2016 The Washington City Paper called him “one of the most interesting people of Washington, DC.

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Lenny as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Lenny Campello: I usually draw with either charcoal or graphite, generally on paper and for the last few years on reclaimed, broken, unfired Bisque. The drawings are most likely part of an ongoing narrative series, some of which I’ve been doing for decades, where I tell and retell stories, or express ideas through the means of contemporary realism. Over a decade ago, inspired by the marriage of embedded video in the glass sculptures of Tim Tate, I started to embed video in my narrative pieces, where I employ the video to further the narration process.  This has further progressed over the years to embedding miniature spy cameras, motion detectors, video recorders, etc. into the artwork.

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F. Lennox Campello “Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer ” charcoal & conte on unfired bisque. Lenny’s artwork is part of WGS Contemporary online exhibit CLICK-IT!

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Lenny Campello:Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer” is part of several of my processes. This charcoal and conte on Bisque is part of my “Obsessive” series. I have probably repeated this image, in various variations and incarnations, over 200 times since the 1980s. The subjects which draw my obsession are diverse and varies. Some of them are iconic people and often comic book superheroes – Frida Kahlo was the first around 1975 when I first saw her works in Mexico City, Elvis, the racist murderer Che Guevara, Monroe, The Batman, Catwoman, Spidey, Superman, etc.  Others, such as “Suddenly, She Wasn’t Afraid Any Longer” is just an image that keeps returning to the blank paper. This one exemplifies lack of fear, taking a chance, a leap forward and away from indecision… freedom.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Lenny Campello:  Not well… I have not adapted… It sucks! All my time is occupied around the ripple effects of the draconian lockdown and I have not created many new pieces… the ones which have emerged are dark and foreboding.  I am concerned that more people will die eventually because of the Covidian lockdown effects than from COVID-19 itself.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Lenny Campello: John Singleton Copley’s dramatic rendering of a shark attacking 14-year-old Brook Watson in Havana Bay – depicted in his painting “Watson and the Shark” has always struck me as one of the greatest narrative paintings of all time! And it made Watson into a celebrity!  Tim Tate’s worldwide impact on art history, in being the first human on the planet to take video away from video players and embedding it into artwork, so that the video became a component of the artwork, not an “artsy movie” to be played on a screen, had the most profound effect on my artwork. I stole his idea – which he developed into glass sculptures – and deployed the same concepts into my drawings and paintings.

F. Lennox Campello "North Atlantic Mermaid (Syreni Caldonii)" artwork in the CLICK-IT! online exhibition.

F. Lennox Campello “North Atlantic Mermaid (Syreni Caldonii)” artwork in the CLICK-IT! online exhibition.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Lenny Campello: Running a food truck outside some Midwestern University or running a small Cuban restaurant in Brechin, Scotland.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Lenny Campello: Very little planning – other than compositional… and there’s always an element of chance – especially in the blurring of the charcoal, which often reveals unexpected new forms and figures.  Sometimes that leads me to include a double-encrypted form of writing that I’ve developed over the years, where I’ve married ancient Ogham writing with the Navy’s verbal Falcon Codes. I use this to “leave” messages hidden as cracks on the backgrounds of some drawings – these almost always start by “accident”, when I see a shadow or crack developing into a phrase.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Lenny Campello: No rule of thumb – I just know…

Click here to jump to F. Lennox Campello’s work in CLICK-IT!

WGS Featured Artist : Jennifer Caldwell

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell is internationally renowned for sculpting borosilicate glass using a torch. Humor, whimsy and imagination are a cathartic aspect of Jennifer’s studio practice that allows her to address more serious emotions from a place of playfulness. Objects from her experience become beautiful, yet un-functional, or are combined in a way to see the paradoxes through which Jennifer views the world. 
Since 2012, Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty have worked collaboratively, and formed JC Squared. Their works have been exhibited in museums including Corning Museum of Glass and Tacoma Museum of Glass, at SOFA Chicago.

Jason Chakravarty and  Jennifer Caldwell

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Jennifer as her work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” and the associated show “Artists for Racial Justice”.

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.
Jennifer Caldwell: We use several processes to complete a single piece. For example, a porthole begins by taking a replica mold of a real object. A wax is then poured into the replica mold the wax is then cleaned up and altered to suite each piece. A custom mixed refractory investment is then poured over the wax, the wax is removed by using steamed leaving a hollow cavity. The investment mold is then brought up to 1500′ where then hot glass is melted into it. Following a extensive cooling process the investment mold is removed from the glass. Finally, the glass is cut, ground and polished. The life form portion of the piece is sculpted using specific tools and solid glass rods in a 3000′ flame with a oxygen propane torch.

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WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.
Jennifer Caldwell: I really love “Catch and Release” the fence is Flameworked and the lock is cast. We are very fortunate to have our work/teaching take us all over the world. When we are somewhere new and we discover objects that form memories we put them in our work. The lock we found at the old city in Jerusalem. We had been exploring the city that day and stumbled into a shop after a few minutes of haggling it was ours. We brought it home made a silicone mold of it and now it becomes part of our vocabulary with the other molds we’ve taken. It holds a memory that’s unique to us but also can convey its own message with just being the object it is.

jennifer.caldwell.jason.catch.release.glass.art.flamework
WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?
Jennifer Caldwell: Honestly the technical part has not affected us as much as I thought it would. The hotshop we use has been shut down so we’ve had to think in different processes. However we get most our inspiration from everyday life and travels which have both slowed way down. I think we’ve had to reflect more internally.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?
Jennifer Caldwell: ”Beyond the Streets” in Brooklyn last summer. It was a great exhibit that just showed how time and evolution and responses from what was happening in that moment showed told a collective story of the evolution of street art.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?
Jennifer Caldwell: I have no idea, but I feel it would need some sort of creative aspect to it.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?
Jennifer Caldwell: We start out with a plan. We need to because we are mixing so many processes however the piece will start to change and adapt to what happens along the way.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?
Jennifer Caldwell: When it starts to make me anxious and gets too busy…less is more!

Click here to jump to Jennifer’s work in CLICK-IT!

Click HERE to jump to Jennifer’s work in “Artists for Racial Justice” fundraiser.

Read about Jason Chakravarty – the other half of JC click HERE